Thursday, March 19, 2009

Port Volumes Lowest Level Since 1997

From the LA Times:

At the Port of Los Angeles, the number of containers carrying imported goodsfell in February by 35.3% to 206,035 containers. That was down from 318,445containers during the same month in 2008, and it marked the lowest monthly total for imports since May 2001. Exports declined 27.6% to 111,595 containers from 154,127 in February 2008.

The Port of Long Beach saw an even steeper decline, in part because the low volumes meant that shipping lines were reverting to small vessels and no longer had as much need for Long Beach's naturally deep harbor. February imports dropped by 43.3% to 92,781 containers from 147,275 a year earlier. That is the lowest monthly total for imports at the port since November 1997. Exports were down 37% to 92,781 containers from 147,275.

Those twin ports are the engine of growth for Southern California and especially the Inland Empire. The Inland Empire can be seen as an inland port for Los Angeles / Long Beach, so if the volume of goods coming in is down, then the amount of space needed in the Inland Empire goes down by a multiple of this decline.

So if incoming volume is down to 1997 levels, then would the amount of industrial space needed to handle that volume would also be down to 1997 levels?

No comments: